Hanok [한옥]: a traditional Korean house that is built while taking into consideration its surroundings, as well as the land and seasons.
Looking for a fitting place to stay may seem like the most difficult task to get all your trip details in check, but it doesn’t have to be.
Today, I’m going to share with you some tips to select the most suitable accommodation.
When you want to book online, there are a few things that you need to check before you book the place (especially if cancellation is not free):
- Price: Unless you’re willing to spare a generous budget for the housing, the cheaper your rent is, the richer your venture will be (so to speak).
- Comfort: Although you won’t be spending much time indoors, a decent environment is necessary to come home to, especially after a tiring day out. Online housing services usually provide real-life pictures of the place you’re considering.
- Proximity: Aim for a location that is well-surrounded and/or close to the subway station. I recommend Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Hongdae, Itaewon, and Hyehwa.
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This is the most practical type of accommodation. It is equipped to meet all of your basic needs, including free breakfast. Money-wise, it costs about 15,000 KRW.
Depending on whether you’re traveling solo or with friends, you can either stay at a dormitory (along with other travelers, mostly backpackers) or in a private room. Note that some studios are only available for more than one person, so if you want to book all of it for yourself, you will have to pay double or triple the price.
There is nothing specific to say about apartments, as it fully depends on the owner.
Most of the apartments that are available for rent are set to fit your requirements, but know that you may have to share the place with others if it has many rooms.
Sometimes, you’ll even have to share your own room with a fellow tenant if it fits two people, so make sure to do your research properly before considering this option.
Now, this is a tricky one. Usually, motels cost a little bit more than guesthouses but way less than hotels. However, the main issue about motels is their “reputation”, if I may say so.
Motels in Korea are mostly known for being “love motels”, but fortunately it is not always the case. As long as their exterior and interior design don’t scream brothel, you’re good to go.
Either way, regardless of what motels are meant for, the best part about them is that they’re fully furnished: I’m talking flat screens, computers, fancy bathrooms, and so much more.
That being said, choose wisely!
Since housing in Korea is widely available, the only reason to book a hotel would be to preserve your personal comfort and isolation, as the accommodations mentioned above require a minimum of daily interaction.
After all, it all goes back to your budget, staying period, and personal preferences.
This last pick is for spiritual purposes only, literally. Not only do Hanoks differ from the other buildings in its architecture, but also in its aura.
Aside from the thrill of spending the night in a Korean traditional house, you will also get to connect with yourself since TV and Internet are nowhere to be found around the facility, thus offering you an offline relaxing atmosphere.
The best of both worlds
In my opinion, guesthouses are your best pick. Luckily, the place I booked was located in a university area, so almost everything was available in the neighborhood.
Furthermore, the subway station was only five minutes away and the appointed subway line either led to touristic spots or provided an easy transfer line.
As for comfort, I tried the dormitory for a while, but I ended up switching to a private room eventually. Which reminds me to tell you that dormitories apparently don’t always (if not at all) have windows, so if you turn off the air conditioner before you sleep and your breathing is not regular, you’re bound to choke in the middle of the night.
That’s all for today! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.